SYNOPSIS: Dan Morgan (Mark Wahlberg) loves his quiet suburban life as a devoted husband, father of three and successful car salesman. But that’s only half the story. Decades earlier, he was an elite government assassin tasked with eliminating the world’s deadliest threats. When enemies from his past track him down, Dan packs his unsuspecting wife (Michelle Monaghan), angsty teen daughter, pro-gamer teen son and adorable 10-month-old baby into their minivan and takes off on an impromptu cross-country road trip to Las Vegas. Determined to protect his family — while treating them to the vacation of a lifetime — Dan must put his long-dormant skills into action, without revealing his true identity.


This action comedy stars Mark Wahlberg as Dan Morgan, a former government assassin who has since settled down as a car salesman with a wife, Jessica (Michelle Monaghan), two squabbling teenagers and a baby boy. Dan’s domesticated, routine life is disrupted when a photo of him is uploaded to social media. And now his past associates are back to take him down and he has no choice but to lie to his entire family that they are going on a spontaneous trip to Vegas in order to escape the assailants.

The story is basically a rip-off of the much superior True Lies and the many pale imitations that follow such as The Pacifier and The Spy Next Door. In fact, it doesn’t take much to glue together a script that features a whole lot of familiar tropes.

However, The Family Plan turns out to be yes, over bloated yet entertaining enough for a few laughs and decent action sequences.

Although Wahlberg is the star here, he often gets overshadowed by Monaghan who genuinely displayed a sense of gung-ho-ness to the entire ordeal instead of being a forgettable token female lead. She gets to play the cool mom and gets to fight the villain in the final act. Wahlberg is decent as the action hero but he needs a comedian co-star liked Will Ferrell or Ted the teddy bear to bring out the chuckles. You know taco Wednesday and scheduled sex on Thursday are not exactly rib-tickling stuff. Irish actor Ciaran Hinds and Maggie Q shows up predictably as the baddies with the latter offering some need be kick-ass action.

The Family Plan marks British television director Simon Cellan Jones’ first feature movie and he throws in a couple of car chases, physical confrontations and stuntwork that are at least impressive than the average Skydance productions. The only thing holding it back is the bulk of screentime which is dedicated to the family drama involving the two teens despite some well-meaning messages on cutting down on phone usage and the importance of family communication.

Like many other prior Skydance’s straight-to-streaming productions (6 Underground, Ghosted, Heart of Stone), The Family Plan fairs no better except it’s yet another glossy, empty title like the next generation iPhone which the movie proudly endorsed.


Review by Linus Tee



Genre: Action/Comedy
Mark Wahlberg, Michelle Monaghan, Ciarán Hinds, Maggie Q, Zoe Colletti, Saïd Taghmaoui, Van Crosby, Joyner Lucas
Director: Simon Cellan Jones
Rating: PG13
Year Made: 2023



Languages: English
Subtitles: English
Running Time: 1 hr 59 mins